There are many types of activities companies can do for corporate teambuilding. There's go-karting, classes where we apply pseudo-science to learn about our personalities and work styles, restaurant outings, laser tag, obstacle courses, improv theatre, the list goes on and on. And every item on this list shares something in common: They all pale in comparison to the best teambuilding activity in the world: Escape Rooms.
Prior to co-founding Puzzle Break, I was a software executive at Microsoft and Electronic Arts. For years, I was subjected to a volume of varied horrors at attempted teambuilding that would knock you down. Seemingly every other week our whole team would be dragged to some mandatory trendy/world-changing/cancer-curing activity that our senior leadership had read about in a magazine or overheard at an offsite. All of these activities typically came in two flavors:
· A horrifyingly dry activity that (supposedly, despite no peer reviewed science) would improve team performance and was approximately as much fun as invasive dental surgery. Any improvement from these activities was typically A. ephemeral or B. nonexistent.
· Something actually fun (skydiving, an open bar, etc.) that was great for morale, but contained exactly zero teambuilding content.
Enter: Escape Rooms.
But Nate, you ask, what makes escape rooms so fantastic? Good question, thank you for asking.
There's an extremely long answer to this question that involves a detailed analysis of behavioral science and cognitive function (that I will not be covering in today's post). Instead, a hyper simple explanation for why escape rooms are the best teambuilding activity in the world:
At escape rooms like Puzzle Break, groups of players do exactly two things:
· Using their brainpower, they work as a team towards a common objective.
· Have a stupendous amount of fun.
That's all there is to it. We see it time and again at Puzzle Break: Leadership will bring a group to play (often dragged kicking and screaming), and the players automatically assume they are in for another unbearable teambuilding experience du jour. Then, once the game is going, they experience their first "a-ha!" moment as they overcome a mental obstacle as a team. The players buy-in to the experience. They use their brains, they work together, and they have a great time. And when they're done, they contact us to tell us two things:
1. Their Puzzle Break experience built new relationships, strengthened existing ones, and vastly improved the team's performance.
2. They want to know when they can come back and play our other games.